PublishedJuly 24, 2013

CCIA Calls Copyright Ruling A Victory For Innovators

A federal appeals court has wisely blocked an attempt by Fox to cut off customer access to a DISH Network service that skips TV commercials, saying the Fox legal argument was not strong enough to issue a preliminary injunction in the case. The Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s ruling that plaintiffs would be unlikely to succeed on their claims of both direct copyright infringement and secondary copyright infringement, and also breach of contract.

This case is an important victory not just for DISH, but for the innovation ecosystem as a whole.   The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed an amicus brief in the case, saying the plaintiffs’ “cramped view of fair use would hobble not just DVR technology, but also may threaten a wide range of new private copying technologies.”
The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“Today the Ninth Circuit recognized that the copyright regulatory system used to control access to information when it advances creativity and the public interest, should not be used to protect old business models.  The plaintiffs would have stifled innovation in the cloud, and harmed consumers.  Today’s win is a victory for innovation and new business models.

“The narrow view of fair use the plaintiffs were advocating would have crushed innovations from DVR technology to a wide range of new private copying technologies. We are glad to see the court examine this issue and recognize the inappropriateness of using allegations of copyright violations to try to protect an old business model rather than meet the challenge to innovate and compete.”

For more background on this case, please see CCIA Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel Ali Sternburg’s blog post for DisCo:

http://www.project-disco.org/intellectual-property/072413-dish-hopper-win-is-a-victory-for-innovation-new-business-models/

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